Over the past five months, many public events have been postponed or canceled due to concerns about covid-19.
In Pea Ridge, the spring cleanup was canceled, the Miss Pea Ridge pageants and Second Saturdays were canceled. The annual Fourth of July Freedom Fest was postponed until Labor Day.
For several months, city officials have contemplated and conferred about the annual Mule Jump, as well as the fall cleanup and, at this time, will host both events, albeit with some modifications.
The fall cleanup will be held, city Street Department superintendent Nathan See announced at the July 21 City Council, adding that it will be open for a week.
"Right now, we take care of our citizens in a way no other city does," See said, explaining that city employees will not handle the items taken to the cleanup unless the items are too large for the city residents to manage. "We will screen people."
He said regulations will be strictly enforced and only city residents will be allowed to drop off items for a maximum of three trips.
"We're trying to still have this in a manner people can self serve," See said.
"I talked to ADH (the Arkansas Department of Health). They want a plan of action," See said. "I got with Chief (Jack) Wassman, he created something for me today. If they don't approve it, I don't know why Benton County is having a fair."
Council member Steve Guthrie asked whether there would be mules coming to the event.
"Yes, many people have already contacted us," See said, adding that the city will not place bleachers and people will have to bring their own chairs and wear face masks. He said the site is 40 acres, so there won't be a limit to the number of persons allowed.
"What's the city's initial investment," council member Ray Easley asked.
See said, "$20,000 -- it's too late in the game to get donations."
"You're under the gun, keep going," Guthrie said.
"It's best to move forward with the plan and cancel if we have to," council member Cody Keene said.